Five Things to Know, Jan. 30, 2023
1. China could be at war with the United States two years from now, a top Air Force general predicted in a bombastic and unusual memo to troops under his command, asserting a significantly shorter timeline before potential conflict than any other senior U.S. defense official to date. Gen. Michael A. Minihan, who as head of Air Mobility Command oversees the service’s fleet of transport and refueling aircraft, warned personnel to speed their preparations for a potential conflict, citing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s aspirations and the possibility that Americans will not be paying attention until it is too late.
2. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday called for South Korea to provide direct military support to Ukraine, saying Kyiv is in urgent need of weapons to fight off the prolonged Russian invasion.
3. Russian shelling killed at least five people and wounded 13 others during the previous 24 hours, Ukrainian authorities said Monday, as the Kremlin’s and Kyiv’s forces remained locked in combat in eastern Ukraine ahead of renewed military pushes that are expected when the weather improves.
4. Former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that President Vladimir Putin didn’t seem serious about avoiding war in the days before Russia invaded Ukraine — and at one point told the British leader it would be easy to kill him with a missile. The Kremlin denied Putin made any such threat.
5. A South Korean soldier stationed near the border with North Korea accidentally fired a heavy machine gun during a weekend training session, according to military officials. Four rounds from a KR-6 were fired from a guard post in northern Gangwon province at 6:27 p.m. Saturday, a spokesman for the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff told Stars and Stripes by phone on Monday.